DENVER
02/16/2011 02:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bolivian Lions Transported To DIA (PHOTOS)

UPDATE: DENVER (AP) -- Twenty-five lions, most of them rescued from Bolivian circuses, have arrived in Colorado where they will start their new lives at a wildlife sanctuary.

The 13 males and 12 males were flown on a jetliner to Denver International Airport, arriving at around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The group Animal Defenders International says the lions were rescued from deplorable conditions after a law was passed last year in Bolivia prohibiting all performances involving animals.

Television personality Bob Barker is financing the rescue. The lions will be trucked to the Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesburg, about 35 miles northeast of Denver.

PHOTO GALLERY

DENVER (AP) -- Twenty-five lions, most of them rescued from Bolivian circuses, are heading to Colorado to start their new lives at a wildlife sanctuary.

The 13 males and 12 females were scheduled to land at Denver International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Animal Defenders International say the lions were rescued from deplorable conditions after a law was passed last year in Bolivia prohibiting performances that involve animals.

Television personality Bob Barker financed the rescue. He and Jorja Fox, a "CSI" actress and ADI ambassador, plan to welcome Operation Lion Ark and offer the lions their first drink of water after they land.

The lions will be trucked to their new home at the Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colo., about 35 miles northeast of Denver. A 15,000-square-foot biosphere was built to help them adjust to the chillier climate.

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HOW TO HELP:

The Colorado-based Wild Animal Sanctuary estimates that it will cost roughly $8,000 to maintain each of these lions at the shelter.

The organization lists several ways in which you can help cover the costs of rescuing these animals, from general donations to adopting specific animals for sponsorship.